Dear social media, thanks for helping me find a job.

Well, I now am part of the 6.1% unemployment rate. I’ve gotta say, it’s a pretty surreal feeling. You see, I’ve only been unemployed once in my life. It was for 6 months, I was pregnant, we had sold our company for $1.6B and I chose to exit gracefully. Very different from being asked to pack up your desk, turn in your laptop, share the ceremonial hugs and “it will be okays” and exit through security at the door. At least I’m in very good company. So, what to do now? Drink, of course! Seriously, I really have no idea. It’s been an amazing time of reflection and possibility.

The most interesting thing about my recent unemployed status is how social media played the hero in getting the word out. I’ve been thinking about what today would have been like if I didn’t have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning. I would have spent the day emailing everyone I know and making a zillion phone calls. But today was very different than that.

It all started with my message on Twitter yesterday afternoon – “Farewell Swamp. It’s been real. R.I.P. matchmine.” Within a matter of minutes, I had a deluge of direct messages, tweets and phone calls. Simultaneously, my Twitter status updated my Facebook status. Bam! By the time I woke up this morning, I had a list of people I had to reach out to on Facebook – about 20 direct messages, a whole host of comments on my wall and text messages waiting for a reply. Humbling and amazing.

By noon, I was exhausted. You see, I was thinking today would be sort of a re-group kind of day. Make some coffee, watch some Ellen and catch-up on the hundreds of shows on my DVR. No such luck. With all the social media activity, I didn’t even have time to work on my resume. Which brings me to my point.

Resume shmezume.

Okay, so your resume is important. It’s an artifact of what you’ve done. Check.

But, my friends, your resume is now about who you know – aka, your network, your community, your peeps. The people you know are the people who know someone who’s hiring someone for a job that might be a good fit. The not-so-good-old days of sending your resume in to some HR mailbox or Jobs@… are OVER. Sure you can still do that but your network is your Golden Ticket. It the most precious asset you ‘own’ and it’s your responsibility to care and feed it. It will teach you things you never knew, connect you with people you may never know, celebrate your highs and support you in your lows. It won’t let you down. But, this precious gift must be cultivated. It cannot be grown in a day by carpet-bombing everyone you know. If you are gainfully employed, well good for you. What have you done today to build your network? It should be part of how you live your life – brush your teeth, comb your hair, update your FB status…okay, maybe that’s a little extreme. Make your network a central part of how you do what you do and see how it gives back.

To all of my friends, family, fellow Miners, colleagues from another life, drinking buds and friends-of-friends who have reached out to help me figure out what’s next…I thank you. You saved me from drowning my sorrows in SNL re-runs and episodes of The Office. You made me pick myself up and realize there’s a whole bunch of stuff out there to go explore. Okay, so, here I go. I will certainly keep you posted on my progress.

Comments (copied over from my old blog):

Craig |

The most relevant blog post I’ve read all year. Post matchmine day one was spent entirely on linkedin, ning, FB, & twitter responding to literally hundreds of requests & posts from both my network and Beth’s. Sped my search from a weeks long process to a days long one. Unbelievable.

Spot on, Michelle. Strong to very strong.

Homey |

Perfect. You couldn’t have described the (new) day in the life of an ex-miner any better.

And thank you for being my swamp buddy and social media sherpa!

Kathy T |

Right on Shelly!

Great post and timed perfectly. This former co-miner is proud of you and to have you in my network!

miketrap | |

You go girl.

michelleheath |

So true. I wouldn’t be the social media maven I am today without you, Natty B! Thanks for lots of laughs, innovation and hard work. We are so connected you have no choice but to hear my updates:)

Nathan | |

I totally agree with you on this. I couldn’t believe how many people reached out to me on twitter, facebook, etc. with opportunities. Just think: 5 years ago, that would have been basically impossible.

Keep me updated, ok?


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